Online Poker

UB Will No Longer host Aruba Classic in 2010

by AintLuck.com Poker Team

When an online poker site hosts a tournament in an exotic location, generally speaking, they are not doing so to make money. Rather, these excursions are seen more as a marketing tool, made to showcase their brand and to generate media attention. It is believed that most of these events, such as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, actually cost the host sites some money. It is a price they are willing to pay to gain more exposure.

It is perhaps for this reason that Ultimate Bet has decided to cancel its 2010 Aruba Classic. A long-standing tournament series and arguably UB.com’s marquee event, this comes as a bit of a surprise to the poker community as Aruba is one of the beautiful destinations on the live poker circuit and is a favorite among poker pros who appreciate warmer climates.

In announcing their decision, Tokwiro CEO Paul Leggett said,

“It is with great regret that we are announcing that the Aruba event will not run this year, but 2010 is going to be an exciting year for UB and its players. Over the last year, we’ve been redefining the UB brand in every way. We love the Aruba Poker Classic event, but we think we can do a lot more for our players by investing in new events and rewards.”

The company said that the decision is partly fueled by the desire to increase the UB’s presence at other major tournaments and to build up its own stable of online tournaments. They will instead look to develop a $500K Guaranteed monthly tournament with the hopes that it can blossom over time into a $1 million tournament to rival those of online giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

UB.com will continue to hold WSOP and WPT satellites in their online poker room and are seeking to increase loyalty bonuses and WSOP incentives, in other words, make more WSOP tournament entries available through the site.

Over the past several months, UB has sought to revamp its image through a series of signings, most notably through the media savvy Joe Sebok, founder and CEO of pokerroad.com. Of the decision to abandon Aruba, Sebok said,

“I, for one, am excited about what this shift in focus means for UB and what this will add to the experience for our players.”

Though this year’s event is canceled, it does not mean the site will not look to return to the island someday, rather, their focus is shifted for the foreseeable future.

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